Blog Entry

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 4:10 pm
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Posted by Chip Patterson

College football and college basketball are big money sports. As more and more financial transparency is demanded from the public, we are learning exactly how profitable amateur athletics can get. One person with plenty of knowledge of the cash you can stack in college sports is Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari. Calipari recently became the proud recipient of a new contract extension that ties him to the college basketball superpower through 2019. The new deal will earn Calipari roughly $4.56 million/year, putting him just behind Nick Saban and Mack Brown when it comes to big-time college coaches. So who better to speak on the topic of collegiate athletics finances than Calipari?

That's exactly what he did when speaking to Mike Lupica on ESPN Radio. Lupica asked Calipari if he ever thought student athletes would get paid. Calipari's answer was particularly interesting, especially because it focused on needing changes to college football. (transcription via Sports Radio Interviews)
“The only way [paying student-athletes] can happen is you do the four superconferences, and those 64 or 72 schools have their own football playoff in each conference and then those four winners are semifinalists for the national title and then you have the title game and you have bowl games and all that revenue is shared between the 72 or 64 schools and then you do the same in basketball. You have their own tournament. … All the revenue from television to tournaments comes back. You get Title IX square, you get money back to the general fund … you give money to intramurals and you take care of this expense of cost-of-living expense.”
The superconference proposal has been on the table since realignment discussions got serious in the last few years. Though with five of the six BCS conferences securing new media deals (and the Big East's upcoming renegotiation in 2013), it does not appear that the formation of superconferences would be probable in the near future.

Additionally, the model loosely proposed by Calipari virtually guarantees that no mid-major school could ever win a national championship. Even in a 72-team "superconference" model, there are only 5 open spots to be filled by teams not affiliated with a current BCS conference (counting TCU as part of the Big East). Despite his previous tenures at UMass and Memphis, Calipari apparently foresees only the big-time schools being able handle the financial burden of paying student-athletes.

READ MORE: Calipari has been on this superconference kick for a while.  CLICK HERE for more from Calipari on the Eye on College Basketball 
SEE MORE:
You know who really likes the superconference idea?  Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.  He's very pleased with Cal's proposal. (artwork:BryanDFischer, Recruiting Guru and Pro Bono Photoshopper)
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Comments

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:08 am
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

If this habitual cheater wants to coach paid players, there is a place where he can do it without ruining college sports any more than he already has.  IF he wants to coach paid guys, he should leave UK and go to the NBA. He will be leaving UK in trouble in a couple of years anyway, that's his pattern.



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 12:01 am
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

One person with plenty of knowledge of the cash you can stack in college sports is Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari.
I am not sure if this was intended. Calipari certainly has wanted to fire the NCAA after they did not allow his professional center to play for Kentucky. After the years of vacated titles and myriad digs at coach Calipari the public perception is that he is finding a way to bring top recruits to UK every year by nefarious means.

I don't happen to agree. The force driving an abundance of talent to a coach who has never won the NCAA championship appears to be the NBA 19 year minimum age limit. Players who believe they will be drafted high in the NBA want to show case themselves. Coach Calipari does a fine job of this. As long as he can get the current players to leave every year he can make playing time for the newcomers. He has achieved 10 players drafted by the NBA over the past four years (6 in the first round).

Of course for those players who want to play at a very high level and win championships while still being showcases for the NBA there are other options. Just, perhaps, not one-and-done options. Kansas, for example has also had 10 players drafted by the NBA over the past four years (also 6 in the 1st round). But only two of those 10 were freshmen. Can a team predominately composed of freshman win an NCAA title? Perhaps, but not likely, Even the Fab Five came up short. This is not a new question. The maturity that occurs in the ages 18 to 22 is pretty significant. Touting a superconference where players are paid openly could be the key that improves the odds for UK, Only Cal would know.



Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:21 pm
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

Chip,
Don't get me wrong. I am NOT a super-conference fan by any measure.  I like the regional conference concept that has worked wonderfully for over a century. I can even live with the BCS, though it does need a little tweaking.  One of the biggest of which involves the automatic qualifying conferences, and brings me to my point - you mention that there are only 5 open spots to be filled by teams not affiliated with a current BCS conference.  I would argue that not every team in those conferences should be in a super-conference,  So, in fact, there are quite a number of available slots if you are just looking for the best 72 or 64 teams.


corona79
Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:55 pm
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Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

not going to happen.  Cost of attendance is nice concept but not practical. This could very well lead to schools losing their non-profit status



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:49 pm
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

Oh, and Calipari is an idiot.  It's not shocking that he wants to be able to pay players.  Maybe his next final-4 appearance won't disappear from the record books again.



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

I'm not against your first suggestion, but, under your new format, why would you stop universities from offering scholarships?  And why would you make participants pay to play?



Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:19 pm
 

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

Better idea.  Have the NFL and NBA create a farm system so the players can be paid as professionals.  Each team could have four farm teams (A, AA, AAA, and AAAA).  Players would live in team facilites.  The NFL and NBA could seek bids from communities wanting to have a farm team.  To fill these teams, you can have a draft of high school players.  The media will love it because they can show live games every day of the week without impacting any "student-athlete's" responsibilities for class work.

If colleges and universities want to play football and basketball, they can with no scholarships.  Players would pay an activity fee to participate.  That way colleges and universites can return to their supposedly main objective: Education. 



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